The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 3, 2013
Top 10 posts of 2012: Unions blast pension reform legislation

countdown 7.JPGThis is the latest in a series counting down this year's most-viewed State Worker blog posts, with a little hindsight analysis.

The press event called by several public labor organizations convened in an upstairs conference room across from the Capitol with a single goal: Make it clear that the unions were angry about a pension reform bill on the verge of becoming law.

To what degree the outrage was real or feigned remains a matter of debate. What was clear on that warm August day was that the changes to state and local public pensions preserved defined benefit pensions for current government employees. Workers hired after Jan. 1, 2013, would work longer for lesser benefits.

But it could have been worse for labor, and they knew it. Some proposals -- including one floated by Gov. Jerry Brown -- sought to replace defined benefit pensions for future hires with plans that mixed smaller traditional retirement guarantees with a 401(k)-type savings component. The bipartisan Little Hoover Commission went even further with a 2011 report that suggested putting current and future employees into defined contribution plans (which would have invited a huge court fight).

Ah, the memories. Relive the moment through The State Worker's 7th most-read post, Unions blast California public pension reform plan.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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